09-08-2026 City office candidates file to be on ballot; First annual Hartford Back to School Bash;

First annual Hartford Back to School Bash a smash!

TOP DOG… Red Arrow Principal Ed Dickerson (“Mr. D”) with second grader Adriana Cruz. Mr. D was in charge of (guess what?) handing out tickets for free hot dogs! Miss Cruz likes math and when asked if she would like to be a scientist she replied with an emphatic nod of her head and a big “Yes!” (TCR photo by Nancy Albright)


The HPS Board of Education, faculty and staff, and Hartford area businesses and community members teamed up on August 31st to host the first annual Back to School Bash on the HPS campus to welcome students to the 2016-2017 school year and it certainly was a smash!  Kids of all ages enjoyed free hot dogs and ice cream, and elementary school kids lined up in droves for the bouncy houses and kiddies rides. School clubs hung out their shingles in the cafeteria so kids could sign up for activities like band, cross country and photography classes, and local businesses and community organizations, including the Hartford Public Library, the Lions Club and Holy Family Healthcare passed out lots of freebies, as well as promoting awareness of their activities and services within the community.  Children and parents roamed the halls of the high school and middle school buildings to see new school renovations, and teachers and staff clad in green and white t-shirts bearing the hailed Hartford Indian mixed with students and parents to chat and answer questions.  The Bash was topped off by the first Boys Varsity Soccer game of the year at the high school football field, the crowd cheering Hartford on to a win over Bloomingdale from the shiny new bleachers installed over the summer.  Hartford School Superintendent Andy Hubbard stated that, “It’s a great turnout and we’re happy to have the opportunity to show the community all that’s good about our schools,” and Debbie Galvan, Secretary to the Superintendent and mother of two HPS students said, “This is turning out to be a very special night. It looks like this may turn into an annual event.”  Come early and come all to next year’s Bash! The hot dogs and ice cream go very, very fast!

Watervliet Patriot Day service Friday, Sep. 9

  The Watervliet Patriot Day service to remember the victims and first responders of the 9-11-2001 terrorist attack will be held on Friday, September 9 at 10:00 a.m. in Veterans Park on Main Street. The event also commemorates the daily service and sacrifice of local police, fire, and ambulance personnel.  Watervliet VFW Commander Corky Openneer said the commemoration was rescheduled from its normal 9-11 date to avoid conflicts with Sunday church services.   Openneer said City Commissioner Dan Hummel will be the guest speaker. Pastor Ed Richcreek will offer the invocation and Nancy Leeks will be the singer. The North Berrien Military Rites Team will fire the salute and play taps.   Also attending will be the entire North Elementary School 5th grade class, weather permitting.   Organizing and conducting the service is the Watervliet VFW Post and the Coloma American Legion Post.

RIVER CLEAN UP BEGINS… work to clear major log jams in the Paw Paw River between Coloma and Watervliet began Tuesday at the old Watervliet Paper Mill site. Friends of the Paw Paw River have spearheaded the effort to make the river more user friendly to kayakers and canoeist with $7,000 donated so far. The group hired Henderson Brothers Tree Service of Benton Harbor to clear logs and trees that make floating on the river hazardous. Along with volunteers Jerry Willmeng (in the white shirt) and Rick Rasmussen, the group used chains saws to cut up the log jam and heavy equipment on shore to pull the lumber out of the river. Rasmussen said the group has enough money to clear several major log jams on the Watervliet to Coloma stretch of river. $100,000.00 has been budgeted by the State of Michigan to continue cleanup efforts on the river from its headwaters at Maple Lake in Paw Paw to the mouth in St Joseph.               (TCR photo by Karl Bayer)


City government candidates

apply for office

By Annette Christie

To assure that they are on the November 8, 2016 ballot, candidates for City Commission have filed their required paperwork.

Hartford City: Commissioners Frank Dockter, Ron Burleson, and John Miller have all applied to run for another term. They face no opposition.

Coloma City: Mayor James Polashak is seeking another term; he faces no opposition.   Clerk Martha Darling has opted to run for another term; she also faces no opposition.   Current treasurer Cathy Megna has chosen not to run again.     Kelly Clements is running for the treasurer position. Clements is currently on the Coloma School Board.  She is the only one running for treasurer.  City Commissioner Nate Clements is seeking to be re-elected for a partial term.  Current Commissioner Mike Muenchow is not seeking re-election.    Voters will elect three full term Commissioners from a selection of four candidates.  Incumbent City Commissioners Jason Hicks and Kent Churchill are seeking to be re-elected for a four-year term. Julia Smith and Christine Seddon are also running for a Commission seat.  Smith is a former Commissioner.  Seddon is a business owner.

Watervliet City:  For the City of Watervliet, Mayor Dave Brinker and Commissioners Duane Cobb, Dan Hummel, and Barb Schofield all have terms expiring.  Schofield is not seeking re-election.  Brinker is seeking to be re-elected as Mayor.  He faces no opposition.  Voters will fill three commission seats from a field of four candidates.  Besides Cobb and Hummel, Luke Strunk and William Whitney Jr. will be on the ballot.    Strunk previously served on the City Commission after he was appointed to fill a vacancy.  Whitney Jr. is a member of the Watervliet Fire Department.   Full biographical information on all candidates will be in the Tri-City Record pre-election preview.

Local kids bring home home BCYF ribbons & trophies

NATALIE VAN LENTE… who is 9 won Champion wood-working for her age group. She also entered baked goods, jewelry, pinewood derby car, horti-culture, and flowers. She is a 4th grader at Watervliet North Elementary and the daughter of Jonathan and Kate Van Lente.


SUSANNA VAN LENTE… 14, took home the Champion ribbon for jewelry for the third year in a row. She also won Champion for her Buckeye Bundt Cake. The daughter of Jonathan and Kate Van Lente, she is a freshman attending Watervliet High School. This year she also entered exhibits in photography, horticulture, crafts, and home economics.


CONNER KISER… once again loaded up his ribbon count from the Berrien County Youth Fair. He is shown here with just one; Reserve Champion for holiday/special theme arrangement. Kiser, 11, is entering the 6th grade at Coloma Public Schools. He is the son of Vince and Stacey Kiser. He also received Reserve Champion for a dried arrangement for his age group. In addition, Kiser entered a scarecrow, Lego project, and recycle products. For his root beer float cupcakes, Kiser received honorable mention.


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